AUGUST 20, 2006
INTO THE HEART OF DARKNESS
Hi, Folks –
Shintaro Shimosawa and James Morris here, aka Shin & Jim. One of the most difficult tasks in writing for The Dead Zone is creating a story that can only happen on this show. This requires a new and innovative use of Johnny's visions. This is very tricky territory. Johnny's ability allows him to see more than your average forensic clue on a regular cop show. These visions are far more sophisticated and telling, and by nature, show Johnny the truth -- of either what has happened or will happen. The question that always lingers in all of The Dead Zone stories is - how do you fool a psychic?
"Heart of Darkness" was designed with this question in mind. The pitch was simple - the Collector, a villain from Season Four, returns for revenge on Johnny Smith. Sarah disappears, mysteriously. We learn she has been kidnapped by someone from Johnny's past. The Collector knows how Johnny's ability works and how to use it against him. He will force Johnny to watch (through his visions) Sarah being brutalized. As Johnny watches, helpless, as each vision of Sarah gets worse and more brutal, he will grow angrier and lose hold of his sanity.
The Collector is never trying to 'fool the psychic'. His goal is to show the psychic what happened to someone he loves – no matter how horrifying the outcome. The ultimate revenge. This episode also examines how Walt and Johnny would crumble if the foundation of their friendship – Sarah – is at risk.
Tommy Thompson, coining that the 'Prince of Darkness' embraced this episode, allowed us to go a little darker with this story. Inspired by George Sluizer's "The Vanishing", this is a story that is truly one of those that only The Dead Zone can tell. We fell in love with this episode, and hope you do, too.
James Morris & Shintaro Shimosawa
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